Party Wall Surveyors
Talbots Surveyors & Valuers is an independent firm of surveyors that specialise in the Party Wall Etc Act 1996 acting for Building Owners, Adjoining Owners and as the Agreed Surveyor throughout London and the Home Counties.
Party Wall Etc. Act 1996
The Party Wall Act covers three distinct types of work:
Alterations to a shared wall
The construction of new walls on the boundary
Excavation work close to neighbouring properties
Where work falls within the scope of the Act it is necessary for the party carrying out the works to serve a Notice and obtain the affected Adjoining Owner’s consent.
If consent is not given the parties are deemed to be ‘in dispute’ under the Act. In such a case, Party Wall Surveyors must be appointed so that the dispute can be resolved by way of a Party Wall Award (a formal agreement).
Many Adjoining Owners only become aware of their neighbour’s plans to extend when they receive a Party Wall Notice. The Adjoining Owner has the option to either consent or dissent to a notice. If there is no response within 14 days the parties are deemed to be in dispute under the Act.
Where a dispute arises each interested party must appoint a Surveyor so that a Party Wall Award can be agreed. They can also appoint just one ‘Agreed Surveyor’. This can save time, money and reduce disputes.
The fees incurred are normally the responsibility of the party undertaking the building work - the Building Owner. Surveyors can include, in an Award, that their reasonable fees must be paid by the Owner undertaking the works.
An owner planning to undertake works that fall within the scope of the Act should start planning early.
Notice periods are either 1 or 2 months depending upon the type of work.
It is sensible for the Building Owner to speak to their neighbours before serving the formal Notice. Keeping the neighbours well informed can save extra fees incurred.
For example, where the Adjoining Owners wish to appoint their own surveyor, the total costs can double.
The Act allows for one Surveyor to be appointed by each of interested parties or for them to appoint a single ‘Agreed Surveyor’. This Surveyor must act impartially to resolve matters affecting all Owners.
OUR SERVICES INCLUDE:
Site Visit/Further inspection.
To assess the plan and assess the impact of work after completion. A site visit might be required to consider the effect of your proposal or to give advice. A further inspection is sometimes required by an adjoining owner as a condition of consent or following an award. Under normal circumstances, this cost is paid by the building owner.
Building Owner Surveyor - For the building owner only, per award
Our fees are competitive and depend on our level of involvement. Our fee covers the drafting and serving of the party wall notice/s, the service of further notices/requests if required and the making and serving of an award. Subsequent awards may incur further reasonable fee although we do try to keep these as low as possible.
Schedule of Condition
Prior to works commencing, it is necessary to prepare a condition report (usually with accompanying images) covering the areas of the neighbouring property most likely to be affected by the proposed work.
In some instances, it may be sufficient to record a photographic only record.
Awards acting as the surveyor appointed by the Building Owner:
Where your neighbour appoints their own surveyor, you will usually be responsible for their fees which must be reasonable.
The London average for straight forward residential works ranges from £500-1,250 + VAT. If the fee is too high, it can be challenged.
Agreed Surveyor (acting for you and the neighbour):
Where you appoint a single impartial surveyor to act on behalf of both parties. This is usually cheaper as only one surveyor is required.
Subsequent awards may be required.
Adjoining Owner Surveyor - Acting for a neighbour
Under normal circumstances, this is paid by the building owner. The final figure will be agreed with the surveyor appointed by the building owner and entered the Award.
Awards acting as the surveyor appointed by the Adjoining Owner depending on the nature of the works and our level of involvement.
At the request of the building owner (or his/her surveyor), we are typically happy to agree on a FIXED FEE in advance.
If you would like some free advice with no obligation whatsoever, please feel free to contact us – we would be delighted to help!